Last night I was hanging out with the Knuckleballs folks during their Twins Game Chat, as I so often do, and I offered everyone a free beer if Francisco Liriano went 7 innings. Confidence in Frankie was so low that several individuals offered to drive to Southwestern Wisconsin to claim their drink. After a shaky first inning, thanks to a Tsuyoshi Nishioka error and Liriano’s own ability to cover home on a wild ptich, the Royals led the Twins 2-0, Liriano had thrown 23 pitches and I figured my beers were safe. But the baseball gods were thirsty, and the next thing I knew Trevor Plouffe had spotted Francisco Liriano a 4-3 lead and Liriano made good throwing 7 complete innings and leading the Twins to victory. So if you’re looking for that free beer, I’ll be at the Rockin’ Rewey Fireworks on Saturday night, and the beers will be waiting.
And now, on to the links.
Because the All-Star break forced a lot of writers to tackle their mid-season awards I found myself looking past a lot of articles this week and eventually found myself reading about the Detroit Red Wings. Anyone who loves the old Commodore computers will surely enjoy this read from Greg Wyshynski.
This one is not even baseball related and I have no idea how I stumbled across this, but if you are a parent, or a God Parent, or an Uncle or an Aunt, or a Grandmother, or anyone one else who buys things for little kids, give this a read.
The Twins outdid themselves with this commemorative set of bobble heads. I cannot think of a single Twins fan who will not be putting this on their Christmas list in 2011.
Over at Knuckleballs, KBart weighed in on Twitter, the Minnesota Twins and had another strong outing as a guest blogger. I’m pulling for her to become a regular part of the Knuckleballs team.
Cleveland beat up on the Baltimore Orioles last night to begin the 2nd half of the MLB season. They were up 3-0 after the top of the first and never looked back. Despite this impressive victory, the Tribe has been sliding since opening the year playing .600+ baseball for the first 50 games. Makes you wonder why they’re not calling on their top prospect, Jason Kipnis, to help them right the ship. Matt Klaassen over at FanGraphs wonders the same thing.
Andrew over at Off The Mark, like a lot of Twins fans, really enjoyed Tom Kelly in the booth for the week or so leading up to the All-Star game. Here, he argues that TK should stay.
The Twins seem to have a surplus of back of the rotation pitchers these days. Anthony Swarzak has been doing well in long relief and performing well in a few spot starts in 2011. Kevin Slowey has struggled out of the bullpen, but is another option as a starting pitcher. Glen Perkins, a transformed starting pitcher has been nothing short of spectacular out of the bullpen this season. What do all of these things have in common? Edward Thoma at Baseball Outsider will fill you in.
I do not necessarily believe in Zombies, so I do not need a Zombie Survival Shotgun. But if I ever needed one, I would build one like this.
Joe Mauer has taken a lot of heat this year, especially considering the extended period of time he missed early in the season related to a plethora of mysterious injuries, including, but not limited to, Bilateral Leg Weakness and a sore shoulder. But he is still great, right? Pete Dymeck doesn’t think so. Check out his work over at The Bleacher Report.
As the weather heats up and hopefully the Twins do too, the North Dakota Twins Fan has some story lines for Twins fans to watch in the 2nd half.
Jack Steal is a devoted Twins fan, of that there is no doubt. He is a Fanatic, he’s Fanatic Jack. If you’re familiar with his work at all you’ll know that he is prone to making outlandish statements and really getting down on the Twins and Ron Gardenhire when things are not going well. But what’s this? Fanatic Jack is optimistic about the Twins’ chances in the AL Central. Check it out.
If you want your blog or content to be featured in the Friday Links all you need to do is include an allusion to Shakespeare in your title. The Commonman does that and much more in his recent article, Some Regression This Way Comes. (Any chance Shakespeare was from Boston and not England? “Something wicked this way comes….”)
Over at Deadspin, Eric Nusbaum pops up a list of Baseball’s 100 Worst Players. In itself, this is nothing earth shattering. But here is what I gleamed from the piece, Tsuyoshi Nishioka was not MLBs first Tsuyoshi! Check it out for yourself.
I’m not putting a lot of stock in Tim Arcand’s take on Jason Kubel and Denard Span and their future (or lack there of) with the Minnesota Twins, but it could be something the Twins will have to deal with very soon.
Chuck James has been generating a lot of noise on the internet by pitching well in AAA Rochester and a lot of folks think he deserves a chance to rejoin the Twins and strengthen and improving bullpen. The WGOM has all your Chuck James coverage! (Note their use of “whither” in the title, Shakespeare is everywhere!)
David Schoenfield continues to pump out quality content over at ESPN’s Sweetspot, and this week he breaks down 2nd have previews for the American League. Lots of goodies in there.
Here is another 2nd half preview, this time from Twins and minor league expert Seth Stohs. Also, Seth will be in Beloit, Wisconsin this weekend to check in on some of Minnesota’s youngest prospects on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pohlman Field watching the Beloit Snappers. I’ll be there on Friday night as well, so if you’re in the area, give me a holler.
Finally, I’ll leave you with another instant classic from NotGraphs. How to Derail a Broadcast includes one of the more humorous video clips of the year, not so much for the “honking”, but for the complete inability to recover from the “honk”.
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